A portion of a NoobFeed interview with Bedtime Digital Games...
NF: How did Figment come to be? What was the thought process behind its creation?
Bedtime Digital Games: The big trigger was how people reacted to our previous game, Back to Bed. People liked the game and its world but wanted to explore the dreamlike setting and themes more freely. Back to Bed was a linear puzzle game, but it sounded like the players wanted to focus more on exploration, so we wanted to do an adventure game that gave the player the ability to explore at their own pace.
For the setting itself, we wanted to go deeper than Back to Bed, kinda taking the next step. Instead of just mixing reality and dream, we wanted to go where dreams are made, meaning inside the mind. So our world ended up being the subconscious mind and all the different areas in this part of the mind.
The story, it came after the setting, as we started discussing what could go wrong inside the mind. We ended up with the thought that you can be paralyzed by fear and unable to think straight. So, we then came up with the idea of the player trying to help the mind overcome fear. We decided to give different types of primal human fear the form of monstrous creatures. This also created our main character, Dusty, that represents the courage trying to overcome the fear and nightmares.
NF: It’s pretty clear surrealism is a source of inspiration for you guys. In Back to Bed, your previous game, we can see some Salvador Dali and M.C. Escher influence. Which artists (or works of art) influenced you when working on Figment?
Bedtime Digital Games: The two mentioned artists, alongside Magritte, are still a large inspiration for the art style in the game. But we also started to look at other sources for inspiration, such as Adventure Time and Miyazaki movies as they have created entire worlds to explore that had what we looked for. We also looked at different games, such as Zelda, for how to get an effect that looked painted and fit our style.
A major element was also the mind itself. In the game, it is never directly explained whose mind we are inside, only indirectly hinted through story and collectibles. But on the team we had a pretty detailed concept and story for this person, meaning we had a source of inspiration for what elements would be inside the mind. The result is that almost all elements have a thought behind them, which should be clearer when finding all the small hints in the game.